The developers have learned from CDPR’s infamous sci-fi RPG release.
Cyberpunk 2077’s troubled release was called “an industry-wide wake-up call” for justifying game delays. According to the developers, many decided not to repeat the mistakes made by CD Project Red and EA with Battlefield 2042.
Cyberpunk 2077’s release in 2020 has become notorious, with an unfinished game that probably belonged more in a museum hitting shelves and digital stores before it was ready to do so. Then, in 2021, Battlefield 2042 followed, and it didn’t reach new heights for the series as many expected. These are just a couple of examples cited by top developers in the industry as a lesson to learn from. While it’s still possible to meet deadlines, more and more developers are less willing to release a title that isn’t ready.
“We took a look at what happened with Cyberpunk 2077 and thought ‘yeah, we’re delaying this,'” an unnamed US game director told GamesIndustry. “CD Projekt is one of the most respected game studios in the world. And they released a game so bad that Sony pulled it from their own digital store. That’s unprecedented. That’s humiliating. We knew our game wasn’t in the best shape, maybe we could fix it with a Day One update… but we saw Cyberpunk and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. I suspect it was an industry-wide wake-up call.”
Lately, we’ve seen Bethesda delay Starfield until next year, shortly after reports that the team was concerned their space RPG could be the “next Cyberpunk.” The studio decided to back away from its initial plan, despite boss Todd Howard previously saying they were “confident about the date” as the game was originally scheduled for release later this year.
It seems that CD Projekt Red itself has also learned its lesson, as the studio is in no hurry in terms of Cyberpunk 2077 story DLC. From what we know, the first expansion won’t arrive until 2023, as the team wants “make sure it’s properly designed.”
Clearly, there are other important reasons for all the recent delays, including the fallout from the pandemic and new remote working conditions. However, it’s hard to deny the impact major half-baked releases have had in recent years.
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